Patna: A suspected thief was lynched by a mob in Bihar early on Sunday, police said.
The unidentified man in his mid 20s was beaten to death in Shivganj locality near Dehri village in Rohtas district.
Villagers caught the man when he was allegedly trying to flee after stealing a buffalo, a police official said.
"He was thrashed and his head was crushed with bricks and bamboo sticks," he said.
"The body has been sent for post-mortem examination. A case of murder has been lodged against unidentified villagers," he added.
Villagers beat three of his associates, but they were saved by the timely intervention of police.
In rural Bihar, `mob justice` is common.
Last year, over three dozen lynching incidents were reported.
In September 2007, 10 suspected thieves from the underprivileged Kueri community were beaten to death in Vaishali district. Later, a probe found that the men were innocent.